Sunday 6 November 2016 5:16 pm

AI firm ASI Data Science raises £1.5m investment with backing from Skype founding engineer

Jaan Tallinn, one of the men behind Skype, has backed a London firm that trains computer scientists in using artificial intelligence (AI).

According to the Sunday Times, ASI Data Science, which works with the likes of easyJet and the BBC, has landed £1.5m of new investment, with LocalGlobe another backer.

LocalGlobe was set up by father and son team Saul and Robin Klein, who teamed up to launch their own venture capital fund to invest in startups at the seed stage across Europe.

Read more: Watch out Siri? Samsung's next phone will have an AI assistant

Between them, the Kleins have invested in some of Europe’s biggest technology startups: Zoopla, Chartbeat, Citymapper, TweetDeck, Graze and TransferWise. At LocalGlobe they have announced investments in online mortgage adviser Trussle and Estonian job search app Jobbatical and now ASI.

ASI Data Science offers a range of bespoke services to businesses, including consulting, training and sourcing data specialists from its own data science fellows and community.

Read more: Goldman Sachs just invested millions in an AI startup

ASI’s chief executive Marc Warner has said that “applying artificial intelligence to business problems will be one of the biggest transformational opportunities of the 21st century” and part of his startup’s aim is to bring AI to the masses.

AI has become a real area of interest for all manner of firms; earlier this year investment bank Goldman Sachs put millions into Persado, a US startup that uses machine learning for marketing. And Samsung has just announced it will be adding a Siri-like AI assistant to its newest smartphone, the Galaxy S8.

Last month Professor Stephen Hawking said: "Success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation."

He has also warned of the risks of AI, saying it will be "either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity", and that it was crucial to spend more time studying the future of intelligence.